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Shane Cullen, b.1957

Fragmens sur les Institutions Républicaines IV1993

Shane Cullen is an Irish artist whose largely text-based work deals with political issues, often specifically with official documents and symbols. ‘Fragmens Sur Les Institutions Republicaines IV’ was made over a period of four years and consists of 96 large styrofoam panels, each carrying transcriptions of the secret messages smuggled out of the H-Blocks in the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland during the period of the 1981 hunger strike by Republican prisoners. The subject matter is controversial and subversive but presented in a highly disciplined fashion that suggests historical, sculptural monuments. Each painted word is straight-jacketed into a typeface, which mimics official government documents. The piece has been widely shown – both as a work in progress, in various contexts, not least at the Irish exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 1995; and as a completed installation. More recently the artist was commissioned to create an artwork on the subject of the Good Friday Agreement, signed in Belfast in 1998.

MediumPainted text; acyrlic on 96 styrofoam panels
Dimensions12 blocks of 8 panels, each block 251 x 480 x 6 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2000
Item NumberIMMA.846
Image Caption
Shane Cullen, Fragmens sur les Institutions Républicaines IV, 1993, Painted text; acyrlic on 96 styrofoam panels, 12 blocks of 8 panels, each block 251 x 480 x 6 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2000

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Shane Cullen b.1957

Shane Cullen is an Irish artist who lives and works in Co. Sligo. His work is characterised by a strong interest in politics, history and heritage. The representation of text and language has been consistent in his artwork to date. While some of his best known work is of a monumental scale (Fragmens sur Les Institutions IV, 1992-1996) and the Agreement (1998-2002).
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